University launches Center for Health, Wellness and Life Enrichment

By: Dave Taylor, ISU Communications and Marketing Staff
August 10, 2012

Indiana State University has established a Center for Health, Wellness, and Life Enrichment to help address the needs of medically underserved areas of the state while expanding the university's commitment to interprofessional education.

The center is one of eight programs selected for funding as part of the university's $5 million Unbounded Possibilities initiative designed to support innovative programs that set Indiana State apart from other colleges and universities.

"The center will provide students opportunities for new experiences in interprofessional education, which is especially vital for them as they prepare to serve residents in rural and medically underserved populations," said Leamor Kahanov, professor and chair of the department of applied medicine and rehabilitation and co-director of the center. "Students will work not only with health care professionals but also with specialists in such areas as recreation, nutrition, business administration and nonprofit leadership so that they gain an understanding of what real-world experiences are like."

The center's objectives include:

• Providing health, wellness and life-enriching services through community engagement and service learning• Preparing future professionals to work in an interprofessional environment• Diversifying institutional revenue streams• Producing educational, outcome, action and translational research• Ensuring sustainability through non-profit and philanthropic outreach

Faculty from all the departments in the College of Nursing, Health, and Human Services are participating along with select faculty from other programs. Area schools and health care providers will also play a vital role in the center's work, Kahanov said.

"The center would not be able to survive without both internal and external participation," she said. "School systems and health care facilities will facilitate patients and/or other individuals coming to the center to receive services. Internal collaboration between colleges and departments will provide faculty-guided experiences to students who will operate the center."

Kahanov said the center will bring together a variety of existing community outreach programs and develop new ones to meet the unique challenges of providing health and human services to underserved populations, rural as well as urban.

Media contact and writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu